14 California hospitals fined for patient safety issues

The California Department of Public Health issued penalties to 14 hospitals in the state last week after investigations uncovered issues that caused or were likely to cause serious harm or death to patients.

The fines for all hospitals total $913,550.

The hospitals are listed below in alphabetical order along with the problem found by the state investigation.

1. AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center. The hospital did not ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures for treatment of a pregnant woman in the emergency department. This failure led to the patient deteriorating after discharge, being readmitted to the ED and being put on life support in the intensive care unit. The hospital was fined $47,025.

2. College Hospital (Cerritos). The state issued two fines to College Hospital after investigations found mishandlings led to two patients attempting suicide. One fine was $50,000 and another was $75,000.

3. Garfield Medical Center (Monterey Park). This hospital was fined after the wrong medication was administered to a pregnant patient, which resulted in the patient having an emergency cesarean section. Garfield Medical Center was fined $50,000.

4. Keck Hospital of USC (Los Angeles). Keck Hospital of USC faces a fine of $100,000 for not following surgical policies and procedures.

5. Los Angeles Community Hospital. This hospital faces a fine of $75,000 after staff did not provide oxygen and cardiac monitoring for a patient who presented to the ED with chest pain, who then died.

6. Marian Regional Medical Center (Santa Maria). Marian Regional Medical Center was fined $28,500 after leaving a foreign object in a patient after surgery, which necessitated a second surgery to remove the object.

7. Pacifica Hospital of the Valley (Sun Valley). A disoriented patient at the hospital escaped his room, exited a fire door with a broken alarm and ended up on the roof. He then fell off the roof to his death. The hospital was fined $75,000.

8. Scripps Mercy Hospital (San Diego). Staff at this hospital failed to ensure the safety of a patient who was admitted after a suicide attempt. That patient eventually broke through a window and fell to his death. Scripps Mercy faces a $100,000 fine.

9. South Coast Global Medical Center (Santa Ana). The hospital was fined $50,000 after staff did not properly treat or advocate for a patient who presented with fecal impaction. The patient was hospitalized twice, suffered from a ruptured bowel and eventually died.

10. Southern California Hospital at Hollywood (Los Angeles). The hospital faces a $50,000 penalty after a patient died after eloping from the ED.

11. St. Joseph Hospital (Orange). A patient suffered second- and third-degree burns from a surgical fire during an operation. St. Joseph Hospital faces a $66,000 fine.

12. St. Mary Medical Center (Long Beach). The hospital failed to assess a patient using the suicide/self harm assessment tool, and that patient later left the hospital and jumped off the hospital's parking garage. The hospital was fined $50,000.

13. Tri-City Medical Center (Oceanside). Tri-City was fined $47,025 after two sponges were left in a patient after surgery. That resulted in a second surgery for the patient and a total hysterectomy.

14. Valley Presbyterian Hospital (Van Nuys). A fire in the operating room left a patient with second-degree burns. This incident resulted in a $50,000 fine for the hospital.

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